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Hand expressing question?

(20 Posts)
FraggleRock77 Thu 17-Oct-13 04:58:49

Baby boy, born yesterday at 29+2 Wks. I've been hand expressing to varying degrees of success but it's such a very small amount. Trying the electric pump tomorrow. Really worried it won't work or establish. Any tips experience really appreciated x

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 17-Oct-13 05:04:02

Many congratulations!

Your milk probably hasn't "come in" yet, hence the very small amounts. I'm impressed you can express anything at all by hand at this stage! The electric pump should be more efficient, but it might be a few days before you get a lot out. But remember your baby has a little tummy anyway so doesn't need pints of milk yet.

Are you hoping to ebf or mixed feed? DS was mixed fed for the first few days he was in SCBU but he only had formula through his feeding tube and then latched to me for the other feeds to establish bf. This worked well, though we found some nurses were more supportive of this approach than others.

How are you feeling post-delivery?

FraggleRock77 Thu 17-Oct-13 05:32:34

Thank you so much for posting. They have suggested trying the machine tomorrow and freezing anything i get until he can take the feed which should be soon.
I'm physically ok but putting a lot of pressure on myself to get this bit right. It's hard not to blame yourself in some way even though i know i didn't do anything. X

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Thu 17-Oct-13 05:32:46

I found hand expressing to be very painful, and I switched to an Avent manual pump once my milk came in. Much easier and more comfortable. So don't be discouraged if you struggle over the next few days, it will get easier.
And congratulations on your new baby!

GinGinGin Thu 17-Oct-13 05:37:02

Congratulations! As a pp said your milk won't have come in yet, but you can still express colostrum - you will only get tiny amounts, but it's very rich so you don't need more than about a teaspoon each time - anything you can get will help. I assume you know how to actually hand express?

I would really recommend not using the pump before your milk comes in - it can be very harsh & you won't get anymore out than by hand expressing anyway.

Good luck - I've had a baby in IC so I know what it's like!

redcaryellowcar Thu 17-Oct-13 05:38:37

I had similar experience although ds 36wks, I found hand expressing onto a teaspoon and then sucking up into small syringe worked best for first five days at getting out milk, only tiny drops, but was popped down his feeding tube, I also 'plugged' myself in to a breast pump every three hours to simulate 'demand' nothing was forthcoming but I was told this helped milk come in, lastly as soon as ds was able o had as much skin to skin as possible and tried to feed him every three hours.
p.s was advised by lovely midwife that a mars bar here and there might help, not sure if it assisted bf or just generally nice when you are exhausted but I did manage a few!

redcaryellowcar Thu 17-Oct-13 05:39:15

p.s congratulations! smile

FraggleRock77 Thu 17-Oct-13 05:42:01

Thank you for all the information. Such a mine field of different emotions. Hopefully getting skin to skin tomorrow but had lots of touching today. I like the chocolate idea, already started! X

plentyofsoap Thu 17-Oct-13 06:57:06

Congratulations!!! I'm in a similar position as my dd was born at 33 weeks and we are still in hospital. I tried to hand express this time and it hurt so left it. 3 days post birth my boobs were huge so expressed on the machine and got the first milk out which she had. This is my second prem and i put too much pressure on myself last time and felt guilty when it failed. It is best for them and many prems are fed this way but I made my decision and bottle fed. When I weaned my ds i cooked everything fresh and healthy and felt i made it up to him in some way? This time my decision was easier. In an ideal world i would have gone to term but some things just happen. Take time to look after yourself too.

clabsyqueen Thu 17-Oct-13 10:33:15

Hi fraggle, I tried and failed to hand express more than a few mls (28 week baby). I used the pump every 3 hours (4 or so at night) at about day 3 when someone told me to get going. At first there was nothing coming and I used a low setting but my milk increased over the next few weeks. Many times I got only 10mls or so but I went on to fully breastfeed my little one til 7 months corrected so don't give up if you seem to making nothing at first. keeping a pumping diary gave me focus and structure. I'd aim for 6-8 sessions a day, writing the time volume and whether it was left or right! Helped me to see that production of milk went up and down naturally. Wishing you all the best on your journey home.

FraggleRock77 Thu 17-Oct-13 15:12:11

Thank you for all the feedback. I'm feeling far more positive about expressing today and the staff on the NICU have been great. Fingers crossed x

CMOTDibbler Thu 17-Oct-13 15:17:18

Congratulations. My ds was born at 35 weeks, and I remember well sitting and expressing tiny drops of colostrum directly into a syringe. By day 3, having hand expressed every 3 hours day and night I was bursting with milk and started pumping. The more stimulation you give, the more milk you will make - double pumping is best when your milk comes in

FraggleRock77 Thu 17-Oct-13 23:01:23

It's progressing slowly so I'm really pleased grinxxx

CMOTDibbler Fri 18-Oct-13 11:12:41

Brilliant news! How is your ds doing?

FraggleRock77 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:21:23

Starting off oxygen already. Taking my milk and is very lively. Crying and wriggly. He's lovely. Thank you xx

MiaowTheCat Fri 18-Oct-13 15:41:24

I burnt the motor out on my breast pump!

Spacefrog35 Mon 21-Oct-13 16:45:45

Well done on your progress so far. I found hand expressing and using the pump the first few times incredibly stressful and it used to make me terribly emotional but stick with it, it does get easier.

One of the nurses gave me one of the muslins from my sons incubator which I used to have with me when I used the pump/hand expressed. I found the smell and touch very comforting. Maybe you could see if that helped?

Best of luck to you & your little one x

ditavonteesed Mon 21-Oct-13 16:50:01

at this stage you are not expressing to actually get milk, you are stimulating the hormones to make you produce milk in a few days, the sooner and more often you can do this the better for establishing your long term milk supply, do not be disheartened by getting no milk, with a pump as well while it is easier in the first couple of days what colostrum you do get will likely be lost in the mechanisms. Make sure you express (whichever way works for you) at least 8 times in 24 hours and some of those at night as the hormone levels which sutain breastfeeding are more prominant at night.
good luck and congratulations smile xx

GinGinGin Mon 21-Oct-13 18:51:56

Brilliant news Fraggle, so pleased. Keep talking to us - many of us have experienced babies in NICU so know what you're going through smile

FraggleRock77 Tue 22-Oct-13 04:14:52

Thank you for all the your support and kindness. My milk is now "in" and I'm actually getting a slightly odd pleasure from expressing as it takes the heat/stiffness out of my full boobs. Very satisfying! Support from MNs and NICU staff has been such a great help xxx Thank you xxx

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